Category Archives: Energy Committee

Guest Column: Why pursuing a net zero school building for Medfield makes sense


Guest Column: Why pursuing a net zero school building for Medfield makes sense

At its meeting on June 2, the Medfield Board of Selectmen listened to an intriguing presentation from Mark Sandeen, a member of the Select Board in Lexington. In February, Lexington had opened its new Hastings Elementary School as a net-positive building: an all-electric building that uses no fossil fuels and that generates more energy than it consumes in its operation. Mr. Sandeen had been invited by Fred Davis, chair of the Medfield Energy Committee, to be part of a presentation by the MEC to the Board of Selectmen. The MEC asked the board to charge the MEC and Arrowstreet, the Dale Street Planning Committee architectural firm, to figure out together whether a new school building for Medfield could be constructed as a fossil fuel-free building, at a total lifecycle cost that equals (or is less than) that of a more conventional building.

In his introductory remarks, Fred Davis pointed out that this is already proven technology, implemented in a number of schools in Massachusetts.

As Mark Sandeen explained, the Hastings School is an 110,000-square-foot elementary school building that is going to house 645 students on a regular basis, the second (and larger) of two net-zero school buildings now operating in Lexington. Several features enable the building to produce more than enough energy to meet its own needs: a tight envelope reduces those needs by 50%; in addition to solar panels on the roof, solar canopies were erected on the parking lots around the building. An electric heat pump will move heat from the ground during the winter months, and it will cool the building during the summer by pumping heat out of the building back into the ground. The annual energy needs of the building were calculated at 970,000 kilowatt hours of electricity; the solar installations on the rooftop and the canopies are projected to produce 1.1 million kilowatt hours per year. An extensive battery system was installed to lower peak demand in the building.

An additional benefit of this design is that the Hastings School is the healthiest school building ever erected in Lexington; increased and improved air circulation creates an environment that is most conducive to student learning.

The Lexington facility will, on an annual basis, produce more energy than it consumes. The net-zero-energy features, along with incentives from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, provide substantial net dollar benefits to the town from Day One. Under a worst-case scenario (if revenue is lower than expected and expense higher than expected), Sandeen projects a net income to the town (annual dollar benefits exceeding annual bond payment) in the range of $30,000. Under moderate conditions, the projection of net benefit goes up to around $100,000/year.

Mr. Sandeen’s talk is available as part of the video taken of the Selectmen’s meeting on June 2, which has been posted on YouTube by Medfield TV (the MEC presentation begins at 57.53).

As Medfield’s project is just entering the design phase, this is the perfect time to think about making the Dale Street School an all-electric Net Zero building. At the end of the presentation, the Selectmen were definitely interested in the concept and charged the MEC and Arrowstreet with creating scenarios informed by Mr. Sandeen’s presentation.

The MEC is working on a number of fronts to reduce carbon emissions in Medfield. If you would like more information or to help with these efforts, contact Fred Davis, MEC chair.

Fritz Fleischmann is a resident of Spring Street.

MEC – make new Dale Street School net zero

ADOPTED 5/21/20

We highly recommend that the Dale Street Committee move forward to
make this project net zero carbon emissions.

Constructing a new building for zero fossil fuels must be done now, or
systems will have to be reconfigured at very high expense in the not too
distant future. Medfield is planning Dale Street for the town’s future so we
must incorporate a net zero goal at this time.

Governor Baker has committed to a close-to-net zero carbon emissions in
2050 for all of Massachusetts. The time is now to make this commitment in
Medfield and to design for the future.

By this document MEC is showing that other communities have made a
commitment to Net Zero buildings, and that many new schools are
explicitly modeling for this objective.

As options are reviewed with costs, financing, incentives, and energy
expenses projected, we are optimistic that, as has been demonstrated in
other towns, Medfield can construct a net zero building at a very
reasonable net cost, or even net profit. This is an exciting time for
innovation in this field and making this happen will require many in the
community to learn about new technology. Doing this for this large and
important school construction project will allow Medfield to take a major
first step in moving toward a net zero footprint.

Please let us know where and when we can further discuss this topic and
when this commitment can be included in the planning for Dale Street and
how it will be evaluated.

The MEC stands ready to help research and support this component of the

The Climate Issue: Less Inconvenient, Not Impossible

Fred Davis chairs the Medfield Energy Committee and his “guest column” that follows appeared in the Medfield Press

Fred davis

Medfield Guest Column: The Climate Issue: Less Inconvenient, Not Impossible

By Fred Davis

Medfielders can appreciate the difficult questions young people here and everywhere are asking: Why aren’t adults responding adequately to the climate emergency?

On Friday, Sept. 20, the Global Strike will involve millions of people worldwide; perhaps you or your child will be walking out of school or work.

For decades to come, there will be no answers that can entirely satisfy the accusations. But right now, a starting point should be an honest recognition that all carbon pollution in the world is an accumulation of all individual carbon footprints. Virtually every person in Medfield shares a significant responsibility in the cause, and therefore, also in the cure.

“Inconvenient” was how Al Gore shrewdly characterized this problem 13 years ago. Developments since then have made de-carbonizing more and more achievable, especially here in Massachusetts, the number one state in the country in energy efficiency (for eight years running, ACEEE).

A consensus has now crystallized among professionals as to what the necessary path looks like. Most if not all steps on the path are available right now, and are usually profitable. Drivers must drive electric. Available roofs must be solarized. Building owners must seal/insulate (to “passive house” standards), and upgrade lighting (to highest efficiency LED with controls). These steps are a whole lot less inconvenient than even a couple of years ago.

Most impactful is to “electrify” existing heating systems: replacing gas and oil boilers and furnaces with high-efficiency electric heat-pumps. Also, any new construction / rehab today must have a carbon footprint that is at least net-zero.

The bottom line is that steps necessary on the path to respond adequately to the climate crisis are, here and now, the responsibility of everyone who drives or lives or works in our town.

Davis is a 40-year veteran of the energy efficiency field. He is the new chairman of the Medfield Energy Committee, which over 10 years had reduced municipal energy use by 44 percent. All views are his own.

LED lights in all schools

Facilities Director, Amy Colleran, shared in advance of the Medfield Energy Committee meeting this evening that the schools are replacing all lights in all school buildings to effect an annual $123,000 estimated energy savings.  The cost to do the swap is 100% paid for by Eversource grants.

This is the projected savings for the Medfield High School, our biggest building.

Financial Summary Energy Conservation Measure PROJECT TOTAL COST Estimated Incentive CUSTOMER COST ROI AC & Maintenance Savings SIMPLE PAYBACK (YEARS) Estimated Annual Energy Savings ($) Lighting $88,334.00 $88,334.00 $0.00 0% $14,670 0.0 $41,142.00 Total $88,334.00 $88,334.00 $0.00 0% $14,670 0.0 $41,142.00 $4,651.00 Monthly Cost of Delay KWH SAVINGS 242,014 Town of Medfield High School $0 $100,000 $100,000 $200,000 $200,000 $300,000 $300,000 $400,000 $400,000 $500,000 $500,000 $600,000 $600,000 Year 1Year 1Year 1 Year 1 Year 2Year 2Year 2 Year 2 Year 3Year 3Year 3 Year 3 Year 4Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 5Year 5Year 5 Year 5 Year 6Year 6Year 6 Year 6 Year 7Year 7Year 7 Year 7 Year 8Year 8Year 8 Year 8 Year 9Year 9Year 9 Year 9 Year 10Year 10Year 10 Year 10 10 Year Energy Savings 10 Year Energy Savings10 Year Energy Savings 10 Year Energy Savings10 Year Energy Savings 10 Year Energy Savings 10 Year Energy Savings

Savings at the Blake Middle School are about $25,000/year, $15,000 at Memorial and Wheelock, and $13,000 at Dale Street.

LED streetlights are in

LED streetlight

It is done! The town now has new LED streetlights and also owns those new LED streetlights, that Facilities Director, Amy Colleran, just had installed.  Payback from the energy savings was less than three years, from memory, given that the town used a state grant to make it even more economical to do.

The notice from Amy below received just now –


As of yesterday, all the new streetlight have been installed. The project is complete.

Amy Colleran

Director of Facilities

Town of Medfield

Medfield Energy Committee from 2/28


Approved as amended, April 30, 2019.

Medfield Energy Committee Minutes for February 28, 2019


Attendees: Pete Peterson, Fred Davis, Paul Fechtelkotter, Cynthia Greene.

Meeting was chaired by Fred in Lee’s absence.

  1. The meeting began with a moment of silence to honor Mike S.
  2. Minutes of previous meeting were approved as submitted.
  3. Green Communities report

Amy wasn’t able to attend the meeting but conveyed that she expected to begin working on the annual report during the 1st week of March.  Her immediate focus is on providing the documentation required to receive money for the grants that were previously approved .  The committee agreed that it was imperative that either Amy or someone else from the town administration (similar to what Jerry M used to do before leaving) needs to attend the meetings on a regular basis.


  • Pete to reach out to Kristine to her direction as to who from the town administration will attend each meeting.
  • Fred to reach out to Amy via email to arrange meeting in March to assess progress and address questions.
  1. LED

Fred stated that the LED fixtures were on order. There were changes in fixture pricing, service costs, projected energy savings and rebates from the original financial case. However, the combined effects resulted in a more positive financial outlook that the original case.


  • Pete will reach out to George on the costs of adding a new fixture around the Pfaff Center to cover an existing dark spot.


  1. Following up on Kelly Brown’s suggestion for a conference call with DOER on development of Medfield State Hospital (MSH)



  1. Pete Peterson will check with Sarah Raposa to determine the Development Committee’s status on review of the responses to the RFI submissions and next steps. Where and with whom can MEC insert a vision/requirements for energy and the development.
  2. Ask Sarah Raposa if she would like to be on the call with DOER
  3. Doodle poll for a meeting with MEC, Sarah Raposa (if she agrees she would like to be on), Ian Finlayson, Paul Ormand, Kelly Brown. Agenda for the call
  • Energy efficient development. Standards to suggest minimum of 55 HERS, adding EUI into the architectural bids,
  • PV ready, solar orientation, and EV charging stations.
  • Potential for microgrid and Municipal Energy Technical Assistance grant for feasibility of a microgrid .
  1. Pete will ask Kristine Trierweiler if it is in Amy Colleran’s job description that she participate in the              energy committee and if not ask that it be added.
  2. Energy in the townwide master plan

Pete and Cynthia are both on the master plan committee that kicked off on 2/27/19.   Cynthia will be searching other town master plans to see if they include any energy visions.  We could consider a net zero goal.  Fred discussed the Boston energy plan that was recently released and how it relies on deep retrofits and going to electrification.  Fred is also interested in finding out if MAPC could help us in developing a mitigation plan much like they assisted in the development of a climate adaptation plan.


  1. Cynthia will send the green communities plan to Sarah Raposa to include in the documents to be considered as background information in the master plan.
  2. Fred will contact Camy Peterson at MAPC to see if they do any mitigation planning for communities.
  3. Next meeting we will discuss an energy forecast and vision for Medfield into the future.


  1. Ground mounted solar at 120 N Meadows.

Fred talked to Haskel at SDA and he said that the SMART solar program could be used if the town owned the land.  Then the town could put solar on the land and be the consumer of the energy produced.  The town would need to have enough energy consumption to offset the solar production.  We need to determine if there is at least 4 acres with no wetlands included and access to the site that does not cross a wetland.   Then a feasibility study would have to be done (SDA could do).  Other towns that have done this are Lincoln, Swansea, Cambridge and Beverly.  There is time urgency in that the SMART program is under review and there could be additional land use restrictions added.   Pete also wondered if there may be other town land we should consider – behind Wheelock that an investor at one time wanted to use for PV, West street by the railroad tracks that is currently wooded, school parking lots such as Wheelock.   We also asked about the status of the solar canopy between the high school and the middle school.


  1. Pete to speak with Dave Strimus to see if he would give/sell the land to the Town
  2. Leslie Willett from the Town would then have to see if there are 4 acres available without wetlands or crossing wetlands that could be used.
  3. For the next meeting agenda – possible town owned land for solar and status of the canopy.
  4. COA Lighting issues.

Fred was asked to assist in why the COA lighting around the building and parking lot is too dark.  After trying to determine what could be the issue – possibly that the Kingsbury Club added lighting. Andrew had contacted him for advise on swapping out of the light bulbs  at the COA and the parking lot across the street from the Town Hall and upgrading them to corn cob LEDs.  He has an email chain with Andrew on this topic.  Fred had counseled Andrew not to do a replacement without changing the fixtures, but Fred believes Andrew did the bulb swap and does not know what light bulbs Andrew put in.  These bulbs could be dimmer, incompatible, of lesser quality and /or  deteriorating light quality.


  1. Fred to try and determine what is there now and possibly suggest a study of what fixtures are needed or possibly what bulb replacements might fix the problem.
  2. Historical society audit.

Fred, Marie and Cynthia gave David Temple advise on what to look for in the audit.  The society is looking into an audit after they paid $11 K for an oil burner replacement.  We do not know if it happened.   Pete said the BOS voted to pay their water bill as it is a town building.   The society pays all other costs.


  1. Cynthia will contact David Temple to find out if the audit happened.
  2. Statewide Sierra Club municipal climate summit on March 16.

Topics include renewable energy, local solutions and advocating.  The committee decided this was not a conference we had to participate in.  Fred also recommended a NEEP newsletter on climate.  Here is their site

Next meeting.  We discussed 3/21 and 4/4 and a desire to have a standard time.   Cynthia will put out a doodle poll.

Meeting adjourned 9:20 pm

Minutes respectfully submitted by Paul Fechtelkotter and Cynthia Greene

Fred Davis gets NESEA Distinguished Service Award

Medfield’s Fred Davis, a longtime stalwart of the Medfield Energy Committee, is being honored for his work on larger stages:


Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes a NESEA Member who has made a significant contribution of time and service to the organization. Learn more about the award here.

For over three decades, Fred Davis has been a trailblazer in the field of energy efficient lighting products. His company, the Fred Davis Corporation, is a leading wholesale supplier of efficient lighting products, and is active in multi-family, weatherization, and municipal markets nationwide. Fred has been engaged participant in NESEA since the 1980s. Read more…

About the Awards

NESEA’s awards represent the diversity and richness of our community, honor our history, and celebrate our future. With these awards, we recognize both the longtime pioneers who have shaped the organization and the next generation of high-performance building leaders who will keep NESEA strong and relevant in the future.

The awards will be presented to Mariel and Fred on March 14 during NESEA Night at the BuildingEnergy Boston Conference + Trade Show.


Fred Davis

Fred Davis's picture

Volunteer on a Town of Medfield committee

town seal

Resolve in 2019 to get more involved in your community

The following Town of Medfield committees are looking for new members:

  • Medfield Energy Committee 
  • Conservation Committee
  • Council on Aging 
  • Master Planning Committee
  • Transfer Station and Recycling Committee


The Master Planning Committee is only just forming, so joining now gets you in from its first meeting – then lay out for the rest of us how the town should both develop and look in the future.

Solar open house today 2-4

Article from from the Medfield Press

Part of the National Solar Tour

Conner house

3 Donnelly Drive home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.

WALPOLE – A local family will open its doors to the public this weekend as part of a nationwide effort to promote solar power.

The Conner family is set to host a solar open house at their 3 Donnelly Drive home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Participants will be invited to see the home’s solar array and learn more about the options available to them.

Penelope Conner, who is also chief customer officer at Eversource, said her family had set up the array during the “Solarize Medfield” drive, in which the town partnered with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the state’s Green Communities Division to lower local installation costs.

“We were thrilled to be a part of that campaign in 2016,” she said. “New England Clean Energy, which installed the panels, will be on-site (Saturday). They will be allowing folks to see the installation on the roof, as well as the equipment in the basement.”

Conner said she had invited the other participants of Solarize Medfield to the open house to share their stories, and that Eversource energy efficiency experts would be there also, discussing subjects like efficient appliances and how best to weatherize one’s home.

Conner said she and her husband had been interested in adding a solar array to their home for a long time and, when the time came to replace their roof, they chose to go with a metal roof to make installation easier.

“There are two ways it gives back. There’s the reduction of our energy bill – we’re saving $1,800 a year on energy,” she said, adding that placing the solar energy on the market qualifies for a clean-energy certificate. “We’re compensated for that – it generates about $1,600.”

Many people, said Conner, ask about the system’s payback. While a solar system is a large investment, she said the benefits could generate a payback in about seven years.

“If you’re thinking about replacing your roof, you should probably wait until after that (to get solar),” she said. “People also ask if we had to cut some trees down – indeed, we did.”

Conner said she was unsure how many people might attend the open house.

“I certainly sent out a lot of invitations,” she said. “I would love to see 100 people there.”

Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-316-2809 or For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter @MGleason_MDN.

Energy Committee doings


Medfield Energy Committee

July 19, 2018 Agenda

Location:        Medfield Public Safety Building

Time:              7:30pm

  • Approval of June Minutes
  • Review of Streetlight project
  • Review/Update of The Green Communities Project(s) & hopefully,
  • Jerry’s final report to the Committee
  • DPW Solar Project Update
  • New Business


Medfield Energy Committee   DRAFT

Meeting Notes for June 21, 2018


Attendees:  Lee Alinsky, Fred Davis, Paul Fechtelkotter, Cynthia Greene, Jerry McCarty, Marie Nolan


May 24, 2018 Meeting Minutes accepted.


Personnel announcement:

Jerry McCarty announced that he is leaving his position as Medfield Facilities Manager by Fall 2018.  He will be greatly missed by the MEC.  MEC asked Jerry to provide an Institutional Knowledge Report to the Town so that Medfield can continue his work on updating the O&M and capital budgeting plans for town facilities, as well as implementing all the facilities improvements currently being undertaken.


Streetlights Project

After the May MEC meeting, Jerry reported to Police Chief Meaney MEC’s recommendations on purchasing streetlights.  Jerry addressed a list of questions asked by the police chief including:

  • How do we report lights that are out? Police officer will call dispatcher and report Pole # has light out. Like they used to call Eversource, Police/Town will now call Maintenance Contractor.
  • Do we wait until several go out before getting replacements? No
  • How does one lodge complaints about lights or request additional ones? Same as today. Report to town hall offices, selectmen need to approve requests for additional lights.
  • Any liability issues? To be handled by maintenance contractor.
  • What happens if there is a downed pole? Eversource will fix pole (as they own pole) but contractor will re-install light.


Green Communities Update and Jerry’s Quarterly Report to DOER

MEC reviewed Jerry’s draft Green Communities Quarterly Report to DOER and made comments.  Jerry will send a copy, as amended to DOER.  This is the first report for the 2 energy conservation projects included in the grant of $146,815 from DOER awarded March 23, 2018:

1) LED interior and exterior lighting upgrades of 6 municipal buildings and

2) Blake Middle School’s Remote EMS including upgrades. (See Green Community Grant Progress and Financial Quarterly Report for the 4th Q-May June 2018 prepared June 21, 2018 by Town of Medfield Facilities).


MEC cannot submit an application for more grant money until the Town spends all the money from the first grant. Likely next steps are to do preliminary design work for replacement of the Domestic Hot Water (DHW) at Blake Middle School and upgrade the HS software.  MEC can ask for grant monies for a final design, selection of water heater and installation.  (Table 4 cost estimate in the Town’s Green Communities 5 yr Plan may be low as it does not include asbestos removal.)


Jerry may ask Rise Engineering to contact DOER to find out what we need to do in order to be able to get funding for upgrading of ? BIM software at the High School.


It was thought that a Press Release should be issued by MEC to inform the Town on the progress of the initiatives funded by the grant monies.


Next Steps:

Implement the contracts, hold kick-off meetings with contractors.

Rise ordered all the materials for the lighting upgrades.

Rise will do a final Commissioning Report in October 2018 that includes all the savings.

Retro-commissioning will be done in September/October 2018.

Town has a service maintenance contract with Trane.  Trane will conduct training sessions for employees, usually one for the heating season and one for the cooling season. MEC would like to be notified when these sessions are to occur and possibly attend.


DPW Solar Project

No progress to date. The Town did not send out request for bids.


Review/add/amend draft of Board/Committee Structure Policy Document

The draft is being amended and will be sent around to committee members for final comment and review.


Next meeting – July 19, 2018.  August meeting TBD.


Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.


Notes respectfully submitted by


Marie Nolan